Home Madison Torres goal, stout defense gets 2-1 road win, launches Mingos to third

Torres goal, stout defense gets 2-1 road win, launches Mingos to third


First-half goals from Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu and Alann Torres — his first as a pro — coupled with stout defending and solid goalkeeping from Parker Smith in his debut earned a road win for Forward Madison over Northern Colorado Hailstorm on Tuesday, moving the Mingos from ninth to third in the table.

It was a back-and-forth affair for the most part, with neither side holding long stretches of possession in the first half. Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu got the Mingos on the board early, sending a cross in from wide on the right wing that found its way over Northern Colorado goalkeeper Thomas Olsen and into the side netting at the far post.

Haitian attacker Jerry Desdunes equalized for the Hailstorm 20 minutes later on a short-range shot after a flurry of activity found the Madison defense disorganized and out of shape.

Torres put Madison ahead for good just before half time, taking a short pass from Cyrus Rad on the left and unleashing a 24-yard shot on one hop past Olsen. It was the 18-year-old Indy Eleven loanee’s first goal as a professional.

After head coach Matt Glaeser was sent off in the 88th minute, the Hailstorm mustered a few last-gasp chances, with Derek Gebhard clearing one and Parker Smith, with some help from Mitch Osmond, smothering another to see out the win.

“It feels amazing” to get a first professional start, Smith said. “I’ve been working really hard for it for years now. It’s so great knowing the guys had my back. It was definitely a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions during the match but I knew we would see it out.”

“We knew it was going to be tough at altitude against a good team,” Glaeser said. “We trained our mentality to find a way to win no matter what. I give a lot of credit to our guys for executing the game plan tonight.”

He had plenty of praise for the youngsters who stepped up.

“Parker was fantastic and solid, credit to Parker for his hard work,” he said. “Alann has a lot of talent and upside, scored his first professional goal. He’s earned his opportunities, pleased for both of those guys.”

The Mingos are now off until July 16 when they host South Georgia Tormenta, likely with Neil Hlavaty at the helm in absense of Glaeser, who will serve a one-game suspension as a result of the red card. That match will be the first of three home league matches in July, as Union Omaha come to Breese Steves July 26 and the Hailstorm make their first-ever visit to Madison July 30.

“We’ve got a good stretch here to get healthy, make sure everyone’s feeling good. We know what we need to get done,” Smith said. “I think we have a lot of points coming this July.”